We are pleased to share with an open PhD position on “Synthesis and characterization of iron carbide nanoparticles“, within the MSCA-funded doctoral network MELOMANES (https://melomanes.eu/)
Thanks to a network of 18 partners (including 10 non-academic partners), MELOMANES aims to train 12 doctoral researchers for the development of a combined therapy exploiting the properties of magnetic nanoparticles (NPs) to induce damage on the tumor microenvironment by magnetic and optic hyperthermia in order to facilitate the infiltration of CAR-T cells.
Research and transferable training of the doctoral researchers will be performed in a highly interdisciplinary, intersectoral, and international environment. In addition to acquiring skills related to the research project, they will be trained also in open science, communication and dissemination, responsible research and innovation, circular economy, ethics, data management, entrepreneurship, marketing, intellectual property, and gender dimension in research. Their competences will be validated through certification and qualification examination, allowing a new generation of highly skilled doctoral researchers to emerge with a high-level training in particular in the multidisciplinary field
DESCRIPTION OF THE INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH PROJECT
1°) Synthesis and characterization of iron carbide NPs with controlled size (10-20 nm)
2°) Compounding with ceramics for the preparation of solid microneedles
This PhD project will focus on the synthesis and characterization of iron carbide NPs with controlled size (10-20 nm), morphology, composition, and presence of ferromagnetic Fe phases (either α-Fe and Fe carbide). Specifically, the NPs will be synthesized by thermal decomposition of Fe(CO)5 at high temperature, followed by coating with a graphitic carbon shell using different protocols (chemical vapor deposition-based CH4 and HCCH deposition, hydrothermal graphitization). The carbon coating will not only increase the stability and facilitate the functionalization of the NP surface, but it will also provide a broad absorbance to the NIR-II region (1,000-1,200 nm), which is characterized by an improved tissue penetration depth, a low background signal and light scattering in biological tissues compared with the NIR-I region (700-1,200 nm). The iron carbide NPs will be characterized by different techniques, such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy, and thermomagnetic analysis, including magnetic hysteresis measurements to estimate the magnetic properties, namely: magnetic saturation (Ms), coercivity (Hc) and low-field magnetic susceptibility (χ) values. The influence of experimental parameters on the structure and composition of the NPs, and their heat dissipation capacity (either by light or magnetic field) will be determined and optimized. The NPs will be employed for compounding with ceramics for the preparation of solid microneedles to endow such device with photothermal & magnetothermal properties.
1) Efficient synthesis and characterization of iron carbide NPs;
2) Development of a graphitic carbon coating methodology;
3) Study & optimization of their magnetothermal/photothermal performance;
4) Manufacturing of ceramic microneedles loaded with the NPs.
Supervisors and host organisations
Main supervisors and recruiting organisation:
University of Vienna, Department of Chemistry, Institute of Organic Chemistry Austria
The Bonifazi Group performs research in synthetic organic chemistry to develop supramolecular architectures that, through the exploitation of their peculiar physical and structural properties, can contribute to the demonstration of key functions or basic concepts at the intersection of physical organic chemistry, materials science and biology.
Co-supervisor (academic partner):
ICN2 – Fundació Institut Català de Nanociè ncia i Nanotecnologia Spain
Co-supervisor (non-academic partner):
Planned mobility track and secondments:
- Lithoz (M. Schwentenwein; 3 months, M13-M15): 3D printing of the NP-based composite ceramic microneedles;
- ICN2 (B. Ballesteros, 3 months, M19-M21): Characterization of the NPs by advanced electron microscopy;
- CNRS (C. Ménard-Moyon, 4 months, M26-M29): Functionalization with substrates of peroxidases (e.g., catechol) to enhance their enzymatic biodegradability.
Enrolment in Doctoral School: University of Vienna, Austria
TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT
- Duration: 36 months
- Salary: 3 614,20 €/ per month (gross, before compulsory employer contributions)
Other allowances: Mobility allowance 600€/per month (gross), family allowance if applicable 660€/per month (gross)
THE CANDIDATE PROFILE
We are looking for a student with a 5-years degree (Master) in Chemistry, Materials Science or related
Technical skills and knowledge required
- Synthesis of nanoparticles;
- Characterization of nanoparticles by spectroscopic techniques (e.g., FT-IR, UV-Vis-NIR
- Characterization of nanoparticles by microscopic techniques (e.g., SEM, TEM, AFM);
- Great sense of thoroughness and organization;
- Dynamism, reactivity and autonomy;
- Writing skills in English and ability to summarize are essential;
- Carry out scientific bibliography.
The candidate, at the time of recruitment, must hold a 5-years degree (Master level).
The candidate must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Austria for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not considered.
The candidate, at the time of recruitment by the University of Vienna, must not be enrolled in a doctoral school or have been awarded a doctoral degree.
- An enrolment in a PhD program;
- An international work environment, in which doctoral researchers can develop their skills and
innovate within a competent team;
- An attractive 36 months’ salary;
- An individual and well-structured scientific and transferable training (open science, responsible research and innovation, circular economy, ethics, data management, entrepreneurship, creativity, communication, career plans and gender balance in science) within the Melomanes network.
- Motivation letter (max. 2 pages);
- CV including the details of education/qualifications, work experience, language skills and other relevant skills; indication of at least two Scientists for reference letters (academic and/or non-academic);
- Certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of exams taken with relative mark. A certified/signed copy of Master of Science certificate or a letter from the Head of the degree course stating that the Student is going to finish before September 2023;
- A summary of your research projects (max. 5 pages).
Applicants can apply for up to 3 projects within the consortium, indicating the order of preference.
All applications will be checked for eligibility (in particular, the adherence to the mobility rule). Incomplete applications will be ignored. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview. Candidates will be notified of the outcome. Start of employment is foreseen from June 2023 onwards.
If you are highly motivated and interested in doing research in an internationally oriented and highly successful network, you should send your application to: email@example.com
Equal opportunities policy without distinction on the grounds of gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation will be applied.
The selection is not limited to EU citizens; therefore, candidates can be of any nationality.
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION
Apply for this position at firstname.lastname@example.org before the 24.04.202